READING: Psalms 70-73, Romans 14:13-15:13
We do indeed have freedom in Christ. When He saves us, He sets us free from the bondage of sin. He frees us to love the unlovable, to forgive the seemingly unforgivable, and to believe the impossible. He grants us freedom to take risks for His glory.
That freedom, though, has its limits. Paul recognized that limit when he challenged the Romans to forego their right and freedom to eat particular foods if their eating and drinking would lead a brother to stumble: “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall” (Rom 14:21). It wasn’t their freedom to eat or drink that should have governed the believers’ decisions; it was their love for one another and their desire for “mutual edification” (Rom 14:19). The strong believers were to be willing to give up their liberty for the sake of the weaker brother.
This mandate gives me helpful parameters in making choices. For example, I choose to abstain from alcohol not because the Bible forbids its use, but because I’ve pastored believers who struggled with alcoholism—and my choices could have led to their own fall if they saw me drink. I don’t want to be legalistic, but nor do I want to be a stumbling block for others. I’d rather give up my freedom than be part of someone else’s failure.
That’s what love does – it gives up liberties when needed for the sake of others.
PRAYER: “Lord, help me not to choose my own desires over the needs of others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day